Recently in New York City, director Franck Khalfoun attended the NY premiere of his latest horror film, Maniac, a stylized remake (opening theatrically and on VOD early next year) of the notoriously grimy 1980 slasher flick of the same name. In Khalfoun's version, Elijah Wood plays a nebbish, seemingly harmless dude with mommy issues who scalps beautiful women and places their severed wigs on mannequins. Cleverly and effectively shot from Wood's character's first-person POV, Maniac puts viewers face-to-face (literally) with the female victims as they're being chased down and methodically murdered.
During the post-screening Q&A, a woman in the audience asked Khalfoun if he considers Maniac to be misogynistic. The filmmaker's response: "It's a movie about a misogynist," so, therefore, it's somewhat guilty by association but not altogether culpable. If you think about it, that makes perfect sense—not to mention, it's also a fair defense for countless other films that have been unfairly criticized for promoting negativity toward women when, in fact, that's not the case.
A hardcore work of realistic horror, Maniac should provoke even more controversy once it officially debuts in 2013. And when Khalfoun's film does irk sensitive critics and moviegoers alike, easily irritable lovers of political correctness will find a new reason to condemn genre cinema for what they perceive to be irresponsible treatment of women. Many times, they're right to pounce upon unquestionably negligible films, but, once in awhile, the moral watchdogs go after undeserving marks, like these 10 Movies That Have Been Wrongfully Accused of Being Misogynistic. The question is, do you agree?
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Review by Matt Barone (@MBarone)